Lisa Parkinson is a family mediator with Bristol FMA. She has been a practising mediator since 1978 and is also a trainer, co-founder and a Vice President of FMA and member of the Family Justice Council’s ADR Committee. Also a founder member of the European Forum for Family Mediation Training and of World Mediation Forum. She is a member of WMF’s Scientific Committee for the 2012 Conference in Spain.

Lisa has given family mediation training and workshops in many other countries. In 2011 she had the great privilege and enjoyment of invitations to Brussels and The Hague (international cross-border mediation), Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia and the Ukraine. She is a member of the Hague Conference’s “Group of Experts” on the Guide to Good Practice in mediation under the 1980 Child Abduction Convention (due to be published by June 2012).

Lisa is author of books and articles on mediation including Family Mediation – Appropriate Dispute Resolution in a new family justice system, 2nd edition, Jordans Publishing, 2011, Editorial Consultant, Neil Robinson, Foreword by Lord Justice Wilson, Judge of the Supreme Court and President of FMA. Also articles published in Family Law, International Family Law and foreign language journals. Her family mediation book has been published in five foreign language editions.

What brought Lisa to mediation? After taking an Honours degree in modern languages at Oxford Lisa qualified as a social worker in Bristol. Her experience in the 1970s as a psychiatric social worker and family therapist convinced her of the need for family mediation to help parents and other family members reach agreed decisions and co-operate over their children, instead of getting caught up in acrimonious court proceedings. She was co-founder and first co-ordinator of Bristol Family Mediation (the first family mediation service in the UK) and of the NFCC (precursor of NFM). In the mid 80s she started a new project in London, Solicitors in Mediation, with five founder members of the SFLA (now Resolution) to develop interdisciplinary co-mediation on all issues in private law family matters. Lisa and Henry Brown took part in meetings with the Law Society to obtain recognition of the new role of family law mediator. Keen interest in this pilot scheme led to the founding of FMA in 1988. Lisa obtained funding from the Nuffield Foundation to design and run FMA’s foundation training and from 1988-1994 was FMA’s director and co-trainer on foundation and cpd training for FMA, CALM in Scotland (Comprehensive Accredited Lawyer Mediators) and other national associations. Lisa continues to have a particular interest in training, professional development and extending the mediation model to other areas of work, including child protection mediation, cross-cultural and international family mediation. She is a member of the training team with Neil Robinson and co-trainer with Angela Lake-Carroll on Resolution’s 3-day training in direct child consultation and child-inclusive mediation.